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Consider This

Series/Special. An interactive current affairs talk show focusing on issues affecting Americans' day-to-day lives. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:01:00

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California 8, Janis 7, Calderon 7, Afghanistan 6, America 6, Us 5, Illinois 5, Fbi 5, Syria 4, U.s. 4, United States 4, Margaux 3, Washington 3, D.c. 3, Taliban 3, Josh Bernstein 2, Del Walters 2, Obama 2, Merkel 2, Sacramento 2,
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  Al Jazeera America    Consider This    Series/Special. An interactive current affairs talk show  
   focusing on issues affecting Americans' day-to-day lives. (CC)...  

    October 31, 2013
    10:00 - 11:01am EDT  

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>> this is aljazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters with a look at today's stop stories. the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons say syria has destroyed all declared chemical weapons plants. under the disarmament time table, syria had to dry the facilities by november 1. more refugees are finding themselves stranded on the syrian side of the border and the amnesty international said there are indications that jordan and several other countries are closing crossing points without notice. jordan, lebanon, turkey, iraq and egypt of dealing with more than 2 million refugees. >> a wall street journal finding
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president obama has reached his lowest approval. >> edward snowden has a new job, a lawyer for the n.s.a. leaker said his clients found a tech support job as a are you sure website. he has been living in the former soviet republic since granted asylum in august. those are your headlines. consider this is next. we have updates 24 hours a day on aljazeera.com. i'm dell walters in new york. we'll see you at the top of the hour. >> an al jazeera america exclusive. corruptions has reached is the
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higheshighest level of politics. how wide spread is this conduct? we'll run it down across america. an important follow up on a story we brought you recently. interpreters who risked their lives being kept in harm's way by political red tape. >> and the hemingway curse. one of america's moist america's families has been rocked by suicides. mariel hemingway will join us. >> we begin with corruption in california. >> in this report al jazeera investigative unit will look at a sting operation launched by the fbi. >> los angeles, a city where fame and
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infamego hand and hand. here everything seems larger than life. including it's politicians that state senator ronald calderon. >> he is one of california's most influential lawmakers. and he is a target of an ongoing investigation. according to a sealed affidavit obtained by al jazeera investigative unit the senator is for sale. a politica politician willing to influence legislation in exchange for money. as part of an elaborate undercover sting fbi agents posed as an independent film studio. they approached the senator and he paid them off. they had to get bank accounts and it was a extensive operation senator calderon wanted his
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family to be eded t added to the payroll. >> the agents hired his daughter and they paid her $30,000 and she never had to show up for work. at the pebble beach resort the senator attended for his brother's non-profit. the greens were lined with the most influential lobbyistings. lobbyists. calderon is still rubbing elbows and raising money. owhe declined to comment so we caught up with him as he was arriving at another five star resort. excuse me senator calderon? >> yes. i'm here for a confredge confrem -- conference i'm not going to discuss any of that. >> he has been a a star in california politics for a decade.
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in the end he may be best remembered for falling hard for an elaborate under cove cover sting. >> i'm joined by investigative corse upo correspondent josh bernstein. you say he is one of the call california's most influential law mealawmakers. >> the family als has been on te scene for a while. the senator has been in office for just over 11 years. he is the chairman of the state's insurance commission and holds major sway over that industry. >> and is a member of film industry and has a lot of power over holidahollywood as well. >> what do you see as the most significant allegations against him in the affidavit. >> all of these allegations are serious. you have a state senator accused of
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accepting $60,000 in bribes from fbi abilities. in a play to pay scheme or to influence legislation. those are serious allegations. >> there are allegations that there was an envelope of cash that exchanged hands in miami. the daughter and son on the payroll. there is a separate scheme as the fbi calls it in the affidavit regarding the health insurance regarding insurance payments to a hospital that was allegedly submitting inflated invoices. all of these are extremely serious allegations. the allegations say the charges that the fbi are considering fraud, conspiracy. >> a long list. $30,000 for his daughter for a job she never showed up at. >> one of the most powerful scenes has calderon holding
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court at a fundraiser for his brother's non-profit at pe pebble beach and lobbyists from wal-mart and shell oil and even though the fbi had raided calderon's office. how did you get access? >> we found out that california for diversity was holding a fundraiser there. the affidavit names them over 20 times. we were tru interested and we wd to see what was going on and who was mingling with who. and what was the conversations and what was taking place. >> and i was standing on the greens the first day amongst calderon and several lobbyists from sacramento. i asked them where they were from. and he said la and the lobbyist said sacramento. i asked what they did. they said i'm a lobbyist and he is a state senator and go figure.
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you hear politicians are mingling with lobbyists on the governmengolf course and we gott first hand. >> where do things stand? is there a grand jury now. the glan grafned grand jury hasd several subpoenas. and the affidavit names a list of characters and other influential lawmakers including the senate president. and there are no allegations against them. but they have issued subpoenas for the individuals to testify for the grand jury. and we know that severanc sinced the fbi has been blanketing los angeles and his ti district with subpoenas. josh bernstein thank you for it. >> we are going to shift our focus to political corruption in the other 49 states. for that we are joined by
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tomorrotom.having lived in chicw corruption is treated like a joke there. people voting early and often. illinois golf no govenor is serving 14 years in prison. and it's not just illinois. four term louisiana govenor was treated by a beloved rogue by some until he went to prison on racketeering charges. there is not anything funny about cases like these. we all suffer, all of the taxpayers are paying for this. begoivich was not shaked down because of his hair. for trying to sell the senate seat that was vacant when barack obama went to the presidency.
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and so corruption in illinois and in chicago particularly is very expensive proposition. it causes the taxpayers to pay $500 million a year more than they would have to otherwise. and money goes into contracts that are padded and it goes into ghost payrolling like you mentioned with calderon in california. it goes into all sorts of using government money for private burption. purposes. >> lining prie private pockets. the "new york times" says that even though we think it's pervasive it's rare. only 900 go to jail every year. given those numbers is political corruption as bad a problem as we all come to think it is. >> that is like saying skin cancer on your arm is a minor
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problem because it's only 1/20th of your body. the problem is that the corruption convictions are the tip of the iceberg. they are the people that get caught. and is the law enforcement people only have a limited number of resources. they can only go after a certain number. you wouldn't have so much corruption if the odds were greater. if the odds were 1-and-2 you were going to get caught, you wouldn't have the corruption. 9 oddsthe odds are much much len that. and there is a lot of corruption that is going on be that is not convicted. and there is a whole category of stuff that is highly un ethical that is not prove b ably criminal. and fo there for they get away h it. there is a lot of clean grass here in illinois. and that is situation where
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office holders have and insurance companies have law businesses or other kinds of businesses and rather than taking a bribe correct alberta directly they get hired to do wowrk fo work for for clients. >> the author of that document wrote ... given that some politicians convicted of corruption keep getting re-elected after they get out of prison can we trust the electoral pros process to we had o e weed the bad apple out. >> if you get convicted, you will probably get thrown out of office. >> they make come backs though. >> even before that there is 20 20 years of corruption they are caught. >> h
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he says they get weeded out. i did 20 years of investigation on. he was involved in scandals going back to his first days in office. he never got indicted or convicted. now your study tallied up federal public convictions during jurisdiction. ranking the top ten new york, california and texas and ohio and dc and louisiana and is there any factor these places have in common? >> ment on >> the woun one factor that we e been able to isolate is they had mitpolitical machines that weren power for a long period of time. >> and they had little election competition in most of their careers and most of the operation of the machine. so there for there is a greater deal, greater opportunity to
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take risk and get away with it without the public being -- without the opposition making it an issue on the campaign and they are able to get away with it. you can't depend on the newspapers and the news media and the prosecutors to get all of the corruption because it's massive. >> it's incredible how massive it is in illinois. we have two govenors incarcerated and jesse jackson this week went to prison too. >> does it wind up politicians start off honest and give in to office? >> he iit's hard to say. some of them, yes. we have an and fee example of an larry bloom who was a good guy and no one thought he had a career of corruption and he
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acted very well and related to the community very well. i succumbed. later on in his career he was offered a bribe and he succumbed. i think a lot of politicians cut corners and they get away with it and they cut bigger corners and they ge get away with it. and it becomes more than the corners. they go after not just the silverware but the place setting and the dining room too. and i think at that that they e politicians especially when you are dealing with the machine type of situation that we have in chicago where you have to sell tickets in order toet to get your job or keep your job. you have to do political work. and you learn that the guy above you is getting a cut of what you do. >> one thing ind ends up leadino another. >> and pretty soon you are committing a crime.
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i don't think the politicians wake up in the morning and think, how can i steal money from the public. >> i knew begoiv ich before he was governor. i never thought that would happen. thank you for your time. >> good talking to you. >> as obamacare is growing on capitol hill. we'll check with who set go who is getting benefits. >> a disturbing trend brings the worst part of halloween to college campuses year-round. they are racist rangers. what do you think, join the conversation on twitter and on our facebook and google plus pages.
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>> people that risked their lives are being kept in danger
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by american red tape. we first brought you this story about a month ago. his duties extended far beyond language. he saved matt zeller he i s life. special visas meant to bring interpreters to the u.s. were caught in red tape. he lobbied congress and the state department and anyone that could listen. we have to say this story has a happy ending. matt's efforts have brought them and they both join us from washington, d.c.age washington, d.c. and congratulations to both of you. janice welcome to the united states. when we last did the segment you were in hiding. now you are free in washington, d.c. and how does it feel and
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how did you manage to get out. >> the last time i couldn't talk to you guys because i was in hiding and i couldn't go somewhere i was living with my father-in-law and i moved with my sister-in-law for a couple of days. and then i was living with my nephew for a couple of days. and then i come to the united states and you no more fear of the taliban and no more fear of threats. >> why did the visa get held up in the first place? yeah it was a double-edged stword. the state department sat on janis's case for almost two years. he called me up in july and said
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look i'm losing my job in october when the army unit i support leaves afghanistan as part of the withdrawal. i will have to move back in with the population and i will lose 9 protection of being a u.s. interpreter and it will be only a matter you have time before the taliban will find me. the taliban read the u.s. news and they figured the best way to get their hands on him was to keep him in the country as long as possible. they called our tipline that our government has in kabul and said janis is a bad guy and the state department's knee jerk reaction was to ignore two years of investigative background checks on him and said you know what, i know our background checks say you are a good guy but we have one anonymous tip so you can't
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come to the u.s. anymore. janis is the only one. out of 8750 visa only 114 were issued last month. and on the iraqi side 8000 of the 25,000 have gone through. we had a person on earlier this month that came on anonymously he is still struggling to get out of iraq. what does the state department not? are we letting down these people that helped the united states. >> the state department's way is to figure out how to deny at all costs no one wants to let in the next bin laden. in the history of both of these pro garages not a single interpreter that has come to the united states committed an act of terrorism against us before coming or since arriving here. janis had numerous teurchts to kill hundreds of americans over the years of faith full service. all he did was gee fend us.
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he saved my life by killing two taliban. the state needs to cut the bureaucratic red tape and do a number of things. the programs need a senior administrator. they need to change the threshold for how we issue these visas. instead of saying prove to us you are under a ongoing threat. we should do as we do for asylum seekers demonstrated how you would fear for your life after we leave. the other thing is congress needs to increase the number of people that apply to come here. we have another interpreter asan. he had his visa denied two weeks ago. he has no right to appeal and has no reason why it was denied. there are a number of things that they have to do. congress is taking up the program this december in the senate.
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and people like senator mccain are working tirelessly to fix it but there is a lot more that needs to be gone. janis you saved his life in afghanistan. what does it mean to you that matt has saved yours now? >> that is true. in 2008 i saved his life in a firefight and i killed two tal taliban and when we was leaving afghanistan i met him and he promised that one day he will save my life and he will get me home to the united states and which is my home now and he did. what he promised me he did. he brought me safe to my home. >> i'm glad you are home. >> janis what will it mean for your children to be here in the u.s. and instead of back in afghanistan. >> he said what would it be for your children to be here? sorry? >> what would it be for your
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(footballnames.ecl) environment especially for a young children that they get good education, and in afghanistan it's impossible for the kids, especially for the one who is working with the american for their kids it's impossible to goe go to the schools or kindergarten to get education. but for here there is no more fear of taliban to get my children or harm my children. i you can sen can send them to s or kindergarten for a good education. >> i saw somewhere you said that in afghanistan they would learn to hold guns. here they will learn to hold a pencil and paper. >> yeah. janis when he got off the plane last night i asked him, what does this mean to you? my kids instead of having to learn how to predict and defend -- protect and defend themselves, when they go to school they will be taught to
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hold a pen and pencil and piece of paper. >> janis welcom well to welcomed states. >> straight ahead the surprising pick for the most powerful person in the world. and mariel hemingway talks about millions who need assistance now. we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. up next is the golden age of hollywood going golden but elsewhere. why l.a.'s mayor has declared a state of emergency for the entertainment industry there. next.
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today's date day r at that dooif america yours who we think is the most powerful people in the world. president obama can no longer claim the top spot. that has been u surped by vladimir putin.
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obama finished second to the chinese leader. pope lana sis and merkel came in fourth or fifth respectively. merkel is the only bomb in the top 15 in. bill gates placed sixth not only because he heads microsoft but because of how much of his fabulous wealth he is giving away. $28 billion counting. rounding out the top ten ben bernake. his replacement comes in last on the list at 72. he is ahead of king be a dpeul la and head of the american central bank draghi. and michael duke.
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duke pushed britain's prime minister david cameron out of the top den. cameron can't help you buy cheaper socks. tech giants held onto power. the google guys came in at 10th. mark zuckerber gh. is the youngest on the list. a year younger than kim ill young. bill clinton is out of office for a while but he is 43r 43rd with his global initiative. you can expect that to rise soon if his wife runs for the white house. >> coming up one of america's most famous families have suffered generations of tragedy. mariel hemingway speaks to us about a personal battle her
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>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their
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we have come a long way as a society for diseases that are sta beu. a new documentary "running from crazy" hoaption to remove that stigma by following mariel
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hemingway as she explores hers family's history of depression and mental ill ngs. >> my grandfather was a tremendous -- >> we are joined by academy award winning director barbara kopple. who directed and produced running from crazy, which was executive produced by oprah winfrey. it hits theatres november first. mariel, your family history is by depression, addiction, suicides.
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seven people in five generations have committed suicide, nature versus nurture? i really feel it's an invitation for others to speak about their families. >> i think this is an issue that it's under wraps and people need to speak about it and feel comfortable and know that they are not alone. that is what is so beautiful with the work that barbara did about this is making it so tangible and relatable for people. and certainly it was something that was sri relatable for you to talk about these issues. >> it's not just historical it's really your immediate family. your older sister has had serious problems. >> margot your middle sister who is a actress and model and famous in her own right ended up
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committing sue site at who years old. it's something that has touched you your whole life. >> it's touched me my whole life. i have come to the understanding that my life and lifestyle choices has been a tremendous help for me how i live my life is a big piece of the mental illness question that is not being addressed that i feel is a big part of it. living a healthy life. >> i want to get to that. i want to talk to you how did this come about. how did you end up deciding do do that i know you thought mariel thought nobody would be interested in this. that is exactly right. how could you not do a film about the hemingways? we have read about them and we know surface things about them. zbl>>tsd and we have 234e6r had anybody who was willing to dig deep and look at her family. >> and mariel said no holds bar if we are going to do it let's go for it.
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at the 15eur78 time it's about the hemingway family. it's in the same way dealing with mental illness. across. >> there is such a stigma about mental illness we never used to talk about breast cancer and we never used to talk about aids. and now we do. and the one thing we don't talk about is mental illness. if you don't talk about it you can't do anything about it. and you can't do it alone. and we have to have each over's backs. and that is terribly important. hopefully this film will be a guide to get people to really talk about what mental illness is all about and not be afraid of it. >> why do you think there has been an epidemic of suicides? according to every static that you look at. why is this one thing that is very hard to talk about? >> people are very a i shamed about it.
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people don't want to admit it. everyone of us in our family has had some kind of mental illness or suicide. you are afraid to talk about it. and i think now is the time time we must talk about it. >> i feel there is this #kwr-d that our hid is separate from our body. and we are all depression, suicide, mental illness. depression is dispair. and we think that is separate from who we are. and i think the shame comes from we don't know how to deal with it. there is very little known especially about suicide and how to deal with it. it could be 20 minutes of a bad day for somebody and it can be planned for 20 years. it's very complicated and we need to have tremendous come pas compassion for the people that are suffering and for ourselves. for when we go through phases of suffering. there are people that are out
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there living very productive successful lives that suffer from depression. it's about that acknowledgement to say that we understand. i suffer from depression myself which i have over come through lifestyle choices and brain stay technology and many other things. it's about my ability to embrace it in myself and no it and not be afraid to deal with it. >> i want to look a little bit at the document and i want to look at a couple of things that you said that seemed to be a little bit at odds with each other. "i want to change the dynamic and the viewpoint that its not a family of tragedies, its actually a family of complete and total embrace of joy." "it was kind of like the kennedy family. the kennedy's had these horrible tragedies. they always get accidents, they're shot, they're this they're that... we were sort of the other american
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family that had this horrible curse" so, how do you see your family legacy? one of tragedy or one of joy? >> i think there is a tremendous creativey and amazing beauty, there is this amazing understanding of life. my grandfather being the unbelievable writer who still affects municipalities and millions of people in our world. so there is the joy. and i also the other joy is that i'm living a very heal think happy life and i feel as though my journey with this means that i haven't had to pass this on to my kids. >> we'll hear from one of your girls later. let's talk a little bit about margaux. she is an essential character in this film because she filmed a whole bunch of of stuff in the early 80s and you were able to
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use this in the movie? >> yeah it was quite amazing. >> yeah it was just amazing and our sound technician who was doing sound with you and barker and he said you know barbara i filmed stuff for margaug in '834 and '84. i said, what was it? and he said we filled manied about the family and the intimate scenes and we found the people and we found 43 hours of material that was amazing. and every time a package would come it would be like christmas and a treasure and i never told mariel that i had it. she was so sneaky. >> i was not sneaky. >> it was incredible. >> it really was. >> you really saw her struggle through this movie. and one of the things that you say, to actually quote you accurately.
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that everything that margaux loved about the hemingway family and everything that fascinated her about her grandfather were things that you hated? >> here is what is really interesting. getting back to that footage. not knowing that it was there. i was telling her stories about my family and wine time and how they lived their liests. >> exactly. ivi thought part of it, you have to wonder do i make some of this up? especially the color of our kitchen. 9 other part of it was it was confirming what i know my history to be. and seeing margaux and seeing the pain she was in. even though i was saying, i go in the past hate what she admired. i didn't see it valuable. i didn't see hard living and drinking as a value of our family. i think she misunderstood the value of our 23,578ly. but then in seeing the film, the footage that you found i had
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1u67 come bash on because i saw how much pain she was in. >> also too when we were showing the film to mariel at the first time it was in the final cut. and at the very beginning it's mostly about you. and you were getting very emotional and very upset. >> and then suddenly she started seeing all of this footage she had never seen before. she sat at on the edge of her chair and said this is the most amazing material i have ever seen. now my daughters can see who their grandparents were. and they can see what our house looked like and what our kitchen looked like. it was beautiful. >> it really was. it was absoultely is astounding. >> we have a viewer question for you. >> mary control you are a big believer in holistic living and homeopathic well ngs. on that note how did you stay see healthy and balanced amid this tragedy. >> new so much for that question.
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it's my passion in life to be healthy. i have written a book "running in nature" that is all about health and well ngs and balance. but doable things. here the problem that i see with the moment and wellness moment is that everybody thinks that there is one size fits all for the way you eat and the way you excise and the way you live your life. my belief is that we all have a individual blueprint in health and wellness. it's about being given the tools so you start slowly and inch your way along twoordz your best health that suits you you as a individual. >> absolutely. >> i know the physical especially as a child, going out in nature and it's one of the beautiful things she did in the film is reilly showed my just embrace like nature was my solace and nature was my saving grace growing upment averaged and i think being out in the wilderness and doing things and being happy.
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i learned from my partner bobby williams new how to play. i never new how to play before and i do now. >> i promised we would sigh your daughter and what she had to say about the family legacy. let's see that. >> i don't think about the hemingway legacy ever unless i'm asked. i'm not asked a lot. no one my age asks me about that. you have two successful daughters. you are doing great. do you hope that you have broken the family curse. >> i don't hope i have broken the family curse i know that i have broken the family curse. seriously it's almost ironic to me i live such a happy life and i was so depressed foreso many years to know that i have negotiated this wonderful healthy exist continues. and the other thing that has been beautiful for me, because this film has the message that it has. i really affiliated myself with the mental wellness, illness community so we can take the "i" out of ill innocence and you
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with the in sex we "and create wellness. in california we are fortunate we have prop 63 which is about early die text. i want people to get help so they are less suicides and for people t to know they are not alone. you haven't done anything wrong if you are stressed or depressed. and i also wanted to say too that what was really interesting for me as a film maker is that the hemingways didn't know much about each other. jack and your father never talked about earnest. you never talked about earnest to your daughters or to your family history. that was astounding for me as a beautiful arc in this film for mariel to reasonably sit and talk to her daughters about their family history. they hadn't read the books.
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you know they knew about what an amazing writer he was and how he loved women and fishing and hunting and and won't to war and all of those masculine things. the things that were hidden were the demons within him. this film shows mariel being brave and really being krowj just and talking to her daughters about their history. that is important to know if we are to lead a life of healing and joy. >> it's great you are doing so well and your daughters are doing well. thank you for being here today. the film is "running from crazy." >> the show may be over but the conversation continues on our website zblu. aljazeera.com/considerthis. you can also go to our
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>> welcome to aljazeera america, i'm del walters, and these are the stories we're following for u syria meets the deadline for destroying it's chemical weapons. british intelligence with new allegations on the nsa and spying, and president obama trying to drum up some business for america. >> news today that syria has taken a major step forward toward eliminating it's chemical weapons stockpiles. organization for elimination of chemical weapons said that the country

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